By Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Orrell
National Guard Bureau
WASHINGTON (4/8/11) - The Defense Finance and Accounting Service has released guidance and answers to some frequently asked questions for National Guard members in the event the Continuing Resolution Authority expires at tonight at midnight E.S.T. and the federal government is shutdown.
“Due to the government shutdown, the Department of Defense has no legal authority to pay any personnel - military or civilian - for the days during which the government is shut down,” DFAS posted on their website.
“The shutdown will not affect payments to retirees and annuitants as those funds come from a retirement trust fund.”
According to the website, Guard members may have noticed in their most recent pay statement what appears to be a debt that was subtracted from current pay.
“Pay for members of the Guard and Reserves for the period of April 1 to 15 had to be computed prior to the expiration of the current Continuing Resolution Authority, however, due to the possibility of the CRA expiring, we were only able to pay members for the period of April 1-8, it said.
“To compensate for lack of funding authority, the system paid members the entire amount due for April 1-15 and then subtracted the amount for which there is no authorization - April 9-15.
“The amount listed as a debt is actually the amount of pay the member would have received for April 9-15. Once a new CRA or appropriation is passed, the amount listed as a debt will actually be paid to the member.
In light of the numerous questions received from National Guard members when it comes to their concerns over pay issues during the shutdown, DFAS established answers for the effect the government shutdown will have on active duty military, civilian personnel, retirees and annuitants, and DoD contractors and the answers for some frequently asked questions.
Active and Reserve military members will be paid on time for pay earned prior to the expiration of the CRA (midnight April 8) -- approximately half of their normal mid-month payment.
Active duty military and on-duty reservists cannot be paid for duty performed after the CRA expired, until additional legislation is enacted.
Once another CRA or an appropriations act is signed into law, normal disbursement of pay will resume for pay earned after employees return to work.
Military members who perform duty during the shutdown will be entitled to retroactive payments.
Here some frequently asked questions by military members and the answers DFAS can provide at this time.
Will I get paid for my past work?
For any time up to when the CRA expires, active duty and reservists completing duty will be paid. The current CRA expires at midnight on April 8. Active and Reserve military members will be paid on time for pay earned prior to the expiration of the CRA - approximately half of their normal mid-month payment.
Will I remain on duty?
Active duty and Reservists on active duty will continue to report for duty.
Should I expect a delay in my pay date?
There are several key components to this answer. First, our military men and women will be paid on time for duty performed prior to the expiration of the most recent CRA. Second, at this time, active duty military and on-duty Reservists cannot be paid for duty performed after the CRA expires until additional appropriations legislation is enacted. Finally, once another CRA or an appropriations act is signed into law, normal disbursement of pay will resume for pay. Military members will be paid for duty performed during the shutdown.
What if I am a civilian employee who performs National Guard or Reserve duty while furloughed? Is it a dual compensation situation?
It is not a dual compensation situation because furloughed employees are not in a pay status. You will be carried in a leave without pay status. However, you will not be paid for any active duty military duty during the Government shutdown until after appropriations act are enacted.
Civilian employees will be paid on the regular pay date for that portion of duty performed prior to the expiration of the most recent CRA (employees will be paid for duty performed through April 8). Once another CRA or an appropriations act is signed into law, normal disbursement of pay will resume for pay earned after employees return to work. For furloughed employees, Congress will have to provide authority for retroactive payments to be made.
Here some frequently asked questions by federal civilian employees and the answers DFAS can provide at this time.
Will I get paid for my past work?
DoD Civilians will be paid for each day worked through Friday, April 8. Because the normal pay period ends Saturday April 9, this will usually equate to a full paycheck.
I have heard that I will be required to work to perform activity that is excepted from the shutdown. Can you tell me the difference between an excepted and a non-excepted employee if the CRA expires and appropriations lapse?
Simply put, once appropriations are enacted the Government must pay employees who are required to perform excepted activities, whereas employees who are not required to perform excepted activities will be furloughed.
If I am a non-excepted employee and I get furloughed, how do I input my time, or will this be handled for me?
Personnel Actions for all furloughs would be completed. However, the timing of the furlough during the pay period may also require that either the employing DoD agency or employees input their time as well. You would be advised of your responsibilities when and as appropriate.
Will I be paid for a partial pay period?
There are several key components to this answer. First, if the CRA expires during the middle of a pay period, employees will be paid on the next regular pay date for that portion of service performed in the pay period prior to the expiration of the CRA. Second, in most cases, excepted employees cannot be paid for service performed during the shutdown until after appropriations are enacted. Finally, for furloughed employees, Congress will have to provide authority for retroactive payments to be made.
Military retirees and annuitants are not paid from Continuing Resolution Act (CRA) appropriations, so those payments will continue as scheduled.
Here some frequently asked questions by retirees and the answers DFAS can provide at this time.
Will I continue to get paid if the government shuts down?
Yes, military retiree and annuitants are are not paid from CRA appropriations, so they will be paid on the regular schedule.
Will my pay be on time?
Yes. At this time, DoD contingency plans provide for on-time payments for retirees and annuitants.
As a revolving fund organization, DFAS will continue to make contract and vendor payments whenever it has all information needed to certify the payment. Whether contractors should continue to work during the shutdown depends upon factors including contract terms, funding and the work to be performed. The impact of expiration of the CRA on contract performance is a matter for the contracting activity to address with the contractor.
Here some frequently asked questions about allotments, garnishments and travel pay and the answers DFAS can provide at this time.
Will DFAS still make scheduled allotment payments during the shutdown? Will DFAS notify recipients that no payments are being made because of the shutdown?
Military allotments and garnishment are released as part of the End of Month pay process. If a shutdown goes beyond End of Month processing, allotments and pay would be impacted by the lack of appropriations. Once a CRA or appropriations act is enacted, pay would be generated and allotments will be paid. Civilian allotments and garnishments will be processed as normal for the pay period ending April 9, 2011. DFAS will not notify allotment recipients that payments will not be made.
If I was temporary duty (TDY) prior to the expiration of the CRA but my TDY period extends into the furlough period, will I be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses during the furlough period since I was on orders?
Yes, if the CRA expires and appropriations lapse, travel expenses incurred through April 8 are payable. The travel expenses incurred by travelers promptly complying with orders to return to their duty station will be reimbursable as costs of the orderly shutdown of agency operations after appropriations are enacted. If immediate return is not possible, then return must be accomplished as soon as is practicable. If a traveler is directed to return and fails to promptly do so, the traveler is responsible for additional expenses incurred. Expenses incurred after April 8 by travelers who remain TDY, because continuation of TDY is in direct support of an excepted activity, will be reimbursable after appropriations are enacted.
If I returned from TDY just prior to the start of the furlough and submitted my voucher, will it be paid?
DFAS will continue to pay TDY vouchers for expenses incurred prior to any lapse in appropriations. Vouchers received for TDY trips that end prior to midnight of the last day of the CRA are payable.
For the most up to date information released by the DoD on the federal government shut down, please go to http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2011/0411_govtshutdown/.